Monday, 4 April 2011

Impaled until death overtook him

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Achtergelaten aan een paal tot in de dood

Jews had made the plans to get rid of the Nazarene Jesus, who was to them a thorn in the eye.

When the Jews first became aware of the presence of the Lord Jesus, they were hopeful and excited. The Romans had robbed them of their independence and they resented it. They wanted a king of their own, and Jesus of Nazareth as they called him, seemed a likely candidate for this office. He seemed to have alI the qualifications!

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)
Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus won more favour and preached repentance and personal holiness.  The Jewish leaders did not appreciate this emphasis on moral integrity. They felt rebuked not only by his words but also by the awesome holiness of the Lord’s character. Also they were envious of his popularity with the common people. They no longer thought of Jesus as a prospective king, but the common people still seemed attracted to this idea. The excitement of the crowds could make the Romans suspicious, and the Jewish leaders were afraid that they might take
away both the Jewish place and nation. (John 11:47,48)

Jesus had to face the human who could not tolerate a person whose one ambition in life is to obey the laws of God. To express it in another way: human beings reject the standards required by God. They prefer to obey their own human instincts. And what are these instincts? Let the Lord Jesus tell us:
"From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man" (Mark 7:21-23).
All human beings demonstrate by their own deeds that they approve of the way of disobedience.

Jesus Christ was crucified because the Jews hated him and wanted to get rid of him. This is one obvious reason. But surely God could have stopped them from committing this terrible crime, and at the same time have spared His Son the pain and shame of crucifixion? Obviously God was powerful enough to intervene and prevent the crime. And yet, although the Lord Jesus prayed three times to his Father, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. . . " God did not intervene. If God's principles were to be upheld and His purpose fulfilled, intervention was not possible. God's plan required that His sinless Son should be crucified, it is put on a stake until death came over him.

The condemned man was whipped with thongs of leather to which pieces of bone or metal had been attached. Some people died already as a result of scourging but Jesus stayed alive and had to carry a heavy wooden beam. He was nailed, through hands and feet to the wooden
beam which was then lifted to a vertical position and fixed firmly in the ground. Then he was simply left to die. He was not killed -- just impaled in a position from which escape was impossible and left there until death overtook him. Do   you believe this?

This month's survey question:

The Meaning of the Cross

Jesus died instead of us to appease the wrath of God for all time.
He did NOT die as our substitute but rather as our representative.
He didn't actually die. His staged death was an elaborate plot.
Don't know.


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